Malaysia Airlines has agreed to buy eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and eight Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets as the Oneworld airline looks to boost services on its busiest routes.
Malaysia Airlines may double an order of 25 of the single-aisle 737 Max 10 over the next five years, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Najib said at a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday before the announcement.
The agreement – worth US$3.06 billion at list prices that exclude customary discounts – marks a victory for Boeing in a competition that had been viewed as favoring rival Airbus.
Malaysia had been in talks for the European planemaker’s A330neo wide-body jets but had been unable to reach a deal on price, Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew said in an interview in June.
Najib said there is a “strong probability – not possibility – probability that we will add 25 more 737 Max 10 in the near future. So within five years, the deal will be worth beyond US$10 billion.”
Taken private by the nation’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, the carrier has been trying to win back customers following two fatal air crashes in 2014. The carrier, on track to become profitable in 2018, has been adding more services in Asia after cutting jobs and unprofitable long-haul routes to keep the business afloat.
The airline leased six Airbus A350s to offer flights to London from the first quarter of 2018.
It has also ordered 737 MAX 9 and MAX 10 aircraft from Boeing with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2021, respectively.
The company should be cash-positive in the second half of 2018, Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer Peter Bellew said in July.
The airline is focusing on business class and premium cabins as well as transporting passengers from other carriers to increase revenue, he said. China, India, Japan and Taiwan are its growth markets, and the airline will add more routes to these destinations over the next few years, he said